When New York City’s Elmhurst Dairy opened in 1925, founders Max and Arthur Schwartz hand-bottled milk from 200 cows. They then delivered the bottles, which sat in containers of ice, in a truck throughout the city. Over the next few decades, Elmhurst became one of the biggest dairy companies in New York City.
But now everything has changed. While the family owners are still the same, Elmhurst has become a vegan company, and now only produces dairy-free milks (made from almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashews) called Elmhurst Milked.
At the plant, the company has developed its own process of making the nut milks, which it calls “milking.” Cold milling machines extract all of the protein, fat, and micronutrients from the nuts, which means Elmhurst doesn’t need to fortify the milks with additional vitamins.
Plant-based dairy alternatives have grown into a $1.4 billion industry. A recent Nielsen survey found that many people consider those dairy-free products to be healthier, since they often are lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than cow’s milk. Others buy them because they are lactose-intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or have gone vegan. “It’s about transforming with the times,” CEO Henry Schwartz says. “As awareness and demand for vegan products continues to grow, we’re seeing plant-based options become mainstream.”
Meanwhile, over here on the west coast of the country, we were delighted to feature Haus Mylk at Vegfest this year. They plan to start delivering fresh nut-based milks to homes in the Seattle area in the near future.